Friendly people.

So today I was at Barnes and Noble, doing the thing that I always do — looking at the World War II books, because I’m a big fan of WWII stuff. I was mostly just browsing when a girl who was looking at books down the aisle came up and said hi.

She asked if I’d read any of the books up there, and if I had a favorite. I pointed out Flyboys, which might be my second-favorite book (behind Ender’s Game), The Pacific War, which I haven’t read all the way through but is one of the most complete sources about the USA-Japan conflict, and Band of Brothers, which was the book that they made an HBO series out of.

She seemed genuinely interested, told me she liked history but preferred Civil War-era stuff, which there aren’t quite as many books written about. She asked where I was going to school, I told her, and she said she was actually going to school in South Dakota and was just down for the week visiting family.

We chit-chatted for just a bit longer before she said see ya, and thanks. It was really nice to have a brief, friendly conversation with someone. I hope that happens again.

Three cool cars.


Oh, mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law.


The Elder One himself.


Despite the name, it did not go soisoisoisoi.



Construction in Lincoln!?

On the one hand, I’m sort of a fan of enormous ridiculous machinery such as this one:

On the other hand, I’m not a fan of seeing the street I live on blocked on both sides:

I suppose you just can’t win.

Final Results of the Steam Summer Sale

Chuck’s Challenge 3D: It’s certainly not Chip’s Challenge, but in a lot of ways that’s a good thing. The graphics aren’t always on-par in terms of readability (and are occasionally just weird and incorrect) but the game itself is basically Chip’s Challenge++ and I’m okay with that. Easy to drop in and out of.

Pac-Man Championship Edition: What an interesting game. It really has nothing at all to do with Pac-Man. Well it sort of does. You chomp around and collect dots and fruit as they appear, and periodically find a power pellet and go to town on the sometimes 50+ ghosts that are trailing you. It’s a fast-paced arcade-type game.

Monaco I honestly haven’t done much with yet — it seems like it’s a lot better suited to local co-op or playing with friends. At least in the first few levels, which was all I tried at first, it doesn’t explain the rules very well. Might have to come back to this one with someone else in the room.

Borderlands 2, GOTY. Bought it mostly so I could play with friends. I wasn’t the biggest fan ever of the first one — clunky interface and a big empty world. This game, as far as I can tell thus far, doesn’t change much of that, but Borderlands was always 1000% better with friends. Also, just in case you didn’t know, the GOTY comes with most of the major DLCs, not all — you miss out on the extra cosmetic stuff for your character as well as (I think) the last DLC giving you extra levels for your character.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: Saw it on sale, was curious about it. A coworker summed up CS for me really well: “play gun game and deathmatch like a casual, have fun.” That’s most of what I’ve done so far and it’s a blast. I don’t have a lot of desire to get into the competitive modes, but it’s a change-up from TF2 or Borderlands or what have you.

Crimsonland: A twin-stick shooter, remade from its original version for Steam and 2014. It’s fun. I like it. I wish the stick controls were slightly different — you have to actually pull the trigger to shoot, which feels really awkward, and you can’t aim at all long-range. Keyboard + mouse feels way better, which kind of goes against the whole twin-stick philosophy. It has lots of co-op potential though, and plenty of content in weapons and skills and missions.

Less than $30 all told. Not bad.

Stand up!

So, at Hudl, the team is split up into squads of 8 or so, and every morning our squad does what’s called a “stand-up,” where we stand in a circle and talk about what we worked on the day before and what we’re going to be working on today. It’s just a quick opportunity to stay up-to-date on what everyone’s doing.

One of my coworkers has been trying to, if he remembers, play the beginning of the Ludacris song, Stand Up. Which is great, but it devolves into rap or whatever pretty quickly, so the effect is limited. So, on company time because company-related work, I made a short version that just loops the opening 8 seconds or so.

You can grab that here. That’s in my Dropbox, so it won’t be there forever, but you can always email me if you’re really curious. I’m pretty happy with how it came out.

Working for the man.

So I’m staying home from work today due to a serious sickness. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this sick — unable to stand properly, sore all over, nose running like a faucet, the works. And with Hearthstone down, I figure this is as good a time as any to talk about my job and the summer in general.

Working at Hudl has been a reasonably positive experience the entire month or so I’ve been here. Almost everyone at the office is a really cool person, easy to get along with, straight shooters everywhere. Work is managed well and everyone seems to know what they’re doing, or at least where things are going.

I got a little unlucky when I first started up in that the section of the company I was going to be doing QA for had a serious lack of developers for some time: one had a kid, one had (has) a sick family, and one was helping the dev intern get his feet wet. So I won’t lie and say I wasn’t super bored for quite a while. I helped other people when I could, but it was a slow time.

With things being rearranged and more and more people joining the team every week, things have picked up reasonably, and everything is going fine. QA is fine. It’s definitely not the “throw-it-over-the-wall” mentality, every team is deeply involved with every aspect of their own team’s work. I appreciate my role in the squad. It is necessary and I have done just fine, in my own opinion.

Tell you what, though, it’s not glamorous.

I knew this going in, of course. If you had asked me around the turn of the calendar year if I’d be working at Hudl in the summer, I’d have told you no way in hell. The fact that I’m here at all is brilliant. But I know now for sure that quality assurance is not something I pine for.

Which is fine. We can’t all love our jobs. And really it’s not bad. I’m not miserable. I’m not even unhappy. Hudl has done a lot for me, in handing me a job and a temporary housing stipend and lunches and a cast of great characters.

But if I was picking my dream job, it wouldn’t be QA. It might be development. It really might be design, which sounds so hokey to a lot of people but really intrigues me. Truthfully I’m not sure what pushes all my buttons quite yet. I have time.

As of yesterday, the summer was officially 1/3 over, for me, at least in terms of how I think of things. I moved into the house I’m staying at for the summer on May 9th, and I move into my apartment for the school year on August 9th. So, one month down. Sure, there’s a week or something before school starts after the August date, but it’s scary realizing that summer is really quick.

I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be able to continue working at Hudl part-time through the school year, it seems to have been mentioned plenty already but nothing’s been set in stone. And I aim to do that — I think it’ll help to have some pressure in my limited time working there, instead of having gobs of unstructured time in between tests. And somebody’s gotta pay my rent.